Northern Bears split first two games of Female World Sport School Challenge

HERALD FILE PHOTO Zayda Summach performs the fl y by during a Northern Bears home game at the Art Hauser Centre earlier this season.

The Prince Albert Northern Bears started their weekend on the right foot with a 3-1 win over the Winnipeg Avros at the Female World Sport School Challenge at the Hockey For All Centre in Winnipeg on Thursday afternoon.

Bears head coach Steve Young says he was pleased with how Prince Albert started the first period.

“I thought we came out with some jump. I thought the girls were excited and worked hard in the game. They kept it constant for the whole game, so give them credit. We’re trying to work on a few things here. These games are important in a way that it helps us down the stretch here in our league.”

After a scoreless first period, Ella Clarke would open the scoring near the halfway mark of the second period. Bree Purcell picked up the lone helper.

Zayda Summach would double the lead for Prince Albert in the dying seconds of the middle frame, potting her first goal of the tournament with four seconds to go. Purcell picked up her second

Winnipeg would pull within one with 15:37 to go in the third period when Mackenzie Lizotte deposited her first goal of the tournament. Rio Pierre had the lone assist.

Mikiya Anderson would ice the win for the Bears with an empty net goal with one second remaining

Annika Neufeldt stood tall in the crease for Prince Albert making 40 saves on 41 shots. Maddie Sylvestre made 26 stops on 28 shots for the Avros.

“The biggest thing we’ve stressed with our goalies right now (is) give us an opportunity to be in the game and an opportunity to win, and that’s what Annika did. I thought she made some key saves at the right time, and the girls helped her out as well.”

Subhead: SAHA downs Bears in Friday morning tilt

The Northern Bears couldn’t keep their winning ways going as they fell 6-1 on Friday morning to the Medicine Hat-based Southern Alberta Hockey Academy (SAHA)

Young says he thought the final score was not indicative of the way the game was played.

“I thought for the most part it was a hard-fought back and forth game. Looking at the score sheet in the third period, we had a few minute lapse there where we let them put some pucks in the net. Other than that, it was a hard-working game both ways. A type of game once again, we needed. We have to learn from (it), the biggest thing is you can’t have those lapses because those lapses cost us up to two, three, four goals.”

Keira Grant would start the scoring for SAHA with 4:36 to go in the first period on the power play. Keyana Bart provided the lone helper.

Just over three minutes later, Maddison Andrew would double the SAHA lead with her first goal of the tournament. Kenzie Carson was credited with the assist.

Shots favored SAHA 12-11 after the first period.

Prince Albert’s Addison Davidge would cut the SAHA lead to just one with 13:38 remaining in the second period. Tristyn Endicott picked up the lone helper.

Kenzie Carson would restore the two goal advantage for SAHA with 7:37 remaining in the middle frame, picking up her second point of the contest with a goal. Brianna Finke and Maddison Andrew assisted on the play.

In the third period, SAHA would strike three times within a minute as goals from Keira Grant, Riley Gramlich and Keyana Bert would put the game out of reach for Prince Albert.

Nikita Krayetski stopped 28 of 34 shots for the Bears while Tayler Cohen made 29 saves on 30 shots for SAHA.

Young says the third period was a microcosm of what Prince Albert is hoping to prevent in future games.

“We want consistency…. It was a good hockey game and then we lost our consistency and they put some pucks in the net. We want to be consistent, we want to play hard, we want to set the pace. Little things like that that we’re not on our heels all the time.”

The Bears returned to action at 4:45 p.m. Friday against the Yellowhead Chiefs. Results were not available by press time.